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Continuity-Related Comic Book Character
Lightning Lad
Lightning Lad (Superboy 215)
Information
Real name: Garth Ranzz
AKA: Lightning Boy
Species: Winathian (race)
United Planets (citizen)
Homeworld: Winath[1]
Universe: Earth-One
Earth-1A
Relatives: Ayla Ranzz (twin sister)
Mekt Ranz (older brother)
Imra Ardeen (wife)
Garridan Ranzz (son)
Graym Ranzz (son)
Occupation: Legionnaire
Base: Legion Clubhouse
30th century
Affiliations: Legion of Super-Heroes

Legion of Super-Heroes Team Member

Lightning Lad 3 (Superboy 147)

Garth in his first uniform. Depicted in Superboy, #147 (May, 1968).

Lightning Lad 2 (DC Super Stars 17)

Garth in a retconned appearance of his first uniform as depicted in DC Super-Stars, #17 (Nov. - Dec. 1977).

Lightning Boy (Superboy 147)

Garth in an early uniform. Depiction from his first 'actual' appearance in Adventure Comics, #247 (April 1958).

Lightning Lad was a superhero and a founding member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. His wife was Imra Ardeen, who was also known as Saturn Girl. He gained mastery of lightning when a blast from a lightning monster on the planet Korbal freakishly electrified his body.[2]


Background Information

Lightning Lad

[3]

Lightning Lad (Superboy 245)

In the parallel-universe of Earth-One, Garth Ranzz was born on the agricultural world of Winath (member of the United Planets). He has a twin sister named Ayla and an older brother Mekt. On one occasion, when the three were barely teens, they were joy riding when their ship lost power and came down on the world of Korbal. They devised a scheme to recharge their ship's energy cells using the electrical energy of Korbal's ‘Lightning Beasts’. They underestimated the beasts' power and were all bathed in bio-electric energy. The trio used their powers to recharge the ship's engines and return home.[4] After their return, with new found powers, Mekt disappeared. Garth left home to look for his brother. Instead of catching up with Mekt, though, destiny intervened, and he found himself foiling an assassination attempt on tycoon R. J. Brande with the help of Rokk Krinn (soon to be Cosmic Boy), a native of Braal and Imra Ardeen (soon to be Saturn Girl) from Titan a moon of Saturn. At the suggestion of Mr. Brande, the trio formed a team – the Legion of Super-Heroes. He funded their organization and gave them code names and uniforms. Garth assumed the name Lightning Boy.[5]

Eventually they would travel backwards in time to the 20th century to meet Superboy and Supergirl and welcome them into their ranks.[6] By this point, Garth had stopped using the name Lightning Boy and became known as Lightning Lad – a code name that he would maintain throughout most of his career.

Disaster struck the young hero a short time later as he became the first Legionnaire to die in the line of duty. He was saving Saturn Girl (team leader at that time) and Earth from the Khundish fleets of Zaryan the Conqueror. He was mourned by all, especially Saturn Girl, who knew he had loved her, but did not understand the depth of his devotion.[7] His sister Ayla joined the ranks becoming the hero, 'Light Lass' / 'Lightning Lass' shortly after his death.[8]

Fellow Legionnaire, Mon-El discovered a way to bring Garth back to life. Sadly, this was accomplished only at the expense of another life. Several Legionnaires volunteered to hold special lightning rods to channel the lightning of Korbal into his corpse. It was Proty, Chameleon Boy's ‘pet’ who ultimately paid the price, by secretly taking Saturn Girl's place and rigging his rod to ensure the lightning would strike him.[9] Lightning Lass stepped down from membership, Lightning Lad was resuscitated.

After this stroke of extraordinary luck misfortune struck again. Lightning Lad lost his arm in battle with a Dxaundii wingfish enlarged into a “Super-Moby-Dick” of space.[10] The arm was soon grown back by Doctor Zan Orbal.[11] Then he was hypnotized and framed for the crimes of Starfinger.[12]

After a few adventures with the resurrected Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl and the Lad became a couple, and later, the second Legion couple to marry.[13] The Legion's bylaws forbade married Legionnaires from serving, and so the newlyweds were forced to resign. This was short-lived, as they were immediately called in as reservists during the so-called Earth-war.[14] After the war, the Legion's rules were changed. They rejoined and Garth was elected Legion leader.[15] Garth served with distinction as a leader, but eventually succumbed to the pressure when Saturn Girl was lost on a mission in space.[16] He resigned the post and came down with an electrical brain disease.[17] After his recovery, he and Imra announced her pregnancy with twins.[18] When she gave birth, one of the boys was secretly stolen by Darkseid, and turned into the creature called Validus.[19]

In time, the Legion's three founding members resigned from the team. Garth and Imra decide they want to spend more time raising their other son, Graym.[20]


Powers and Abilities

Super Powers

  • Energy Absorption: Lightning Lad can absorb electrical energy into his body and rechannel it for offensive purposes. His body functions as a natural insulator, and he cannot be harmed from the effects of his own powers.
  • Electrokinesis: Lightning Lad can generate and control fields of electrical energy. He can channel this energy through his hands and project it as a super-heated discharge with properties similar to that of lightning. Unlike true lightning, He can manipulate these electric discharges in non-terrestrial environments such as outer space. Although the speed and voltage of his electric discharges has never been measured, it can be assumed that their affects are similar to that of a bolt of lightning. A bolt of lightning can travel at a speed of 100000 mph (160934 km/h), and can reach temperatures approaching 28000 °C (60000 °F), hot enough to fuse soil or sand into glass channels.
  • Electro-Blast: When he first joined the Legion of Super-Heroes, Garth could only produce electro-static effects by clapping his hands together, but with time and practice, he was able to hone his skill until he could fire bolts of lightning from his hands.
  • Cybernetic Enhancement: (In pre-crisis continuity), Lightning Lad's arm was amputated and replaced with a robotic limb. This appendage increased the magnitude of Lightning Lad's powers 100 fold and he was able to use it against the Super-Moby Dick of Space and Prince Evillo's Devil's Dozen. Upon the restoration of his natural arm, Lightning Lad discarded the robotic prosthetic.

Abilities


Paraphernalia

Equipment

Legion Flight Ring: As a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes she is provided a Legion Flight Ring. It allows her to fly and protects her from the vacuum of space and other dangerous environments.


Gallery

Lightning Lad Origin (Superboy 147)

From Superboy, #147 (May, 1968)

Lightning Lad Origin (Superboy 172)

From Superboy, #172 (March 1971)

Lightning Lad Origin (Superboy 207)

From Superboy, #207 (March 1975)

Lightning Lad Origin 1(Superman 247)

From Superman, #247 (January, 1972)

Lightning Lad Origin 2 (Superman 247)

From Superman, #247 (January, 1972)


Appearances


Notes

  • Lightning Lad first appeared in Adventure Comics, #247 (April 1958).[21]
  • He was created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino.
  • Lightning Lad was the 11th leader of the Legion, and resigned shortly before his term ended.


External Links


References

  1. A text feature in Adventure Comics, #354 (1967) story identified their homeworld as Amarta, rather than Winath.
  2. Sentence is taken from Adventure Comics, #316 (January 1964).
  3. This image was taken from a Super Amigos card.
  4. The origin of their powers is depicted in: Superboy, #147/1 (May, 1968); Superboy, #172/2 (March 1971); cand Superboy, #207/2 (March 1975).
  5. As revealed in Superboy, #147/1 (May, 1968).
  6. As revealed in Adventure Comics, #247 (April 1958); Action Comics, #267/2 (August, 1960) and #276/2 (May, 1961).
  7. As revealed in Adventure Comics, #304/2 (January 1963). This story was retconned in issue #520 (January, 2011).
  8. As revealed in Adventure Comics, #308/2 (May 1963).
  9. As revealed in Adventure Comics,#312 (September 1963).
  10. As revealed in Adventure Comics, #332 (May 1965),
  11. As revealed in Adventure Comics, #351 (December 1966).
  12. As revealed in Adventure Comics, #336 (September 1965).
  13. The first couple to marry was Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel. As revealed in All-New Collectors' Edition, #C-55 (March, 1978).
  14. As revealed in Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, #245 (November 1978).
  15. As revealed in Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, #247/2 (January 1979).
  16. As revealed in Legion of Super-Heroes, Vol. 2 #287 (May 1982).
  17. As revealed in Legion of Super-Heroes, Vol. 2 #290 (August 1982).
  18. As revealed in Legion of Super-Heroes, Vol. 2 #307 (January 1984).
  19. As revealed in Legion of Super-Heroes Annual, Vol. 2 #3 (1984).
  20. As revealed in Legion of Super-Heroes, Vol. 3 #12 (July 1985).
  21. For more information about that DC comic book, click here.
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